We attend a lot of gatherings during the holidays. And there is just that tendency to overindulge at the food table and regret the gained pounds later on. Here are 12 tips to keep in mind as you enjoy the company of people and good food while keeping weight gain at bay during the holidays:

  1. Don't skip meals. A lot think they would do better if they starve themselves before a party or an event so they can compensate for the skipped meal. The thing is, one tends to go overboard in eating, in terms of quantity and quality when hungry, so weight gain can be a definite possibility.
  2. Have some protein. Take in a protein-rich snack before heading off to a gathering. Protein keeps you feeling full longer. Arriving satiated can help you make smarter decisions at the buffet table. Meats and poultry top the list of protein sources and your most convenient and quickest source are processed meat products. Others include eggs, dairy products and legumes.
  3. Don’t try to lose weight during the holiday season. Be realistic about this. Instead, try to maintain your weight. Sneak in some physical activity that you enjoy like swimming, dancing, brisk walking or running for at least 30 minutes per day to help burn off fat.
  4. Survey the food offering. Check out what is being offered before filling up your plate. Select your favorite foods and forego least favorites.
  5. Downsize your plate. Instead of large dinner plates, choose a small plate to put in your food. It creates the illusion of having more food. Doing so encourages you to put less food, mind portion sizes and prioritize food choices- what you will eat, sample and skip.
  6. Have a little of everything. Moderation is key. Savor holiday feasts in small portions. Going for smaller portions helps control calorie intake.
  7. Fill your plate with veggies and fruits first but don’t overdo salad dressings and sauces. Veggies and fruits will help cut total calorie intake because they provide bulk which makes you feel full yet these contain fewer calories. Use salad dressings and sauces sparingly because these are usually fat-based and each tablespoon has about 135 calories.
  8. Go for lean protein. Choose entrees that use leaner cuts of meat to cut down on total fat and saturated fat, which can increase your risk to cardiovascular disease aside from adding to the calories. For Monterey pork or beef, look for loin or round cuts. For Magnolia Chicken, go for skinless breasts. These brands, among others, are all part of San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc. which offers only the best quality protein sources for everyone.
  9. Dine slowly. Take small bites, chew slowly and try stretching the meal to about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the maximum point of satiety or feeling of fullness. It takes about this amount of time for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full.
  10. Wait for 10 minutes before going back for second servings. This helps ensure if you are still really hungry.
  11. Avoid grazing while you socialize. Nibbling food can add up to the total calorie intake. Set a limit to those finger food items.
  12. Watch your alcohol consumption. Alcohol can contribute unwanted calories. If you must drink, alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages.

Here's an easy potluck recipe to share this coming holiday season.